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Boating on the Illinois River

Boating on the Illinois River is one of the Midwest's best kept boating secrets.  Aside from being far less crowded than most lakes, particularly in Northern Illinois, the scenery on the River is fantastic!  Flowing through the heart of Starved Rock Country, it's absolutely the best way to witness numerous natural areas including Starved Rock and Buffalo Rock State Parks, and the natural bluffs that line the shore.  

There's also plenty of room to boat; Members are allowed to ply the entire 13 mile length of the "Ottawa Pool,"  which runs from Marseilles Lock to Stareved Rock Lock.  No "going round in circles" like on many lakes!  Aside from the state parks, wildlife and natural areas mentioned, Members enjoy the ability to dock free of charge at downtown Ottawa, where numerous restaurants and other activities abound.  "Bob's Beach" is one of numerous areas where boaters anchor to enjoy their surroundings and socialize a bit.  And there are numerous islands along the River, which not only add to the scenery, but create side channels to explore by boat.  

Perhaps the Members' favorite aspect of River boating is how easy it is - even on a windy day with other boat traffic, the waves are rarely very high.  Boating is almost always very comfortable vs. a big lake, and activites like tubing and skiing are possible just about any time.  No need to have to get up early to "beat the traffic" or wait until the middle of the week to have your fun!